Thursday, May 22, 2008

There's "something" I want to say

There is something sacrosanct about quotation marks. As a writer, they signify something true, something that was actually said, something that can be taken to the bank. I think about once a week I say “let me quote…” or “he said, I quote…” because if it was said, it can be quoted. You might just as well engrave it on your forehead.

Of course not everything said is true. Not everything said is worth quoting. Sometimes it begs the question: why say it then? I could take that advice a little more often, God gave me two ears and one mouth for a reason, they say.

But there’s that “other” use for question marks. Born from the “air quote sign” you make by putting your hands up in front of your face and scrunching the first two fingers downward, the “air quote” has morphed into something a little different in writing.

Suddenly there are quotes you can find around random phrases online, in advertising, wherever someone wants to, I don’t know, boost the credibility of the words.

“These words are in quotes! So they are True! You can rilly rilly believe in them!”

I stumbled across this blog, The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks: misinterpreting bad punctuation since 2005.

The blogger doesn’t so much make fun of unnecessary quotation marks as much as she deliberately misinterprets them. In doing so, I hope what she really does is point out why you should only use quotations for their real purpose: quoting people or text!

1 comment:

Marijke said...

Oh my. You have "hit" on one of my "pet" peeves!! One of my "biggest" pet peeves. Even "more" than inappropriate use of apostrophes.

Seriously, there are some forums and blogs that I can't read because of the use of quotation marks. Drives me batty.f